A promising parenting intervention in foster care

J Consult Clin Psychol. 2006 Feb;74(1):32-41. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.74.1.32.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a 2-component intervention for biological and foster parent (pairs) to improve parenting practices, co-parenting, and child externalizing problems. Participants were biological and foster parents (N=128) of primarily neglected children (ages 3 to 10 years) placed in regular foster homes. Biological and foster parents were randomly assigned in pairs to the intervention (n=80) or a usual care (n=48) condition. Intervention families received a 12-week parenting course (Incredible Years) and a newly developed co-parenting component. Key findings included significant gains in positive parenting and collaborative co-parenting for both biological and foster parents at the end of the intervention. At follow-up, intervention parents sustained greater improvement in positive parenting, showed gains in clear expectations, and reported a trend for fewer child externalizing problems. Findings supported the feasibility of offering joint parenting training to meet the needs of participating families and demonstrated that the co-parenting construct applied to families in the foster care system was amenable to intervention.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black People / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / psychology
  • Child Abuse / rehabilitation*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Child Behavior Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Education*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Foster Home Care*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Male
  • Risk Factors